I have always been an anxious person. I have always been a worrier and someone who will stress over something insignificant. When I was a teen, I was diagnosed with low mood (which eventually became depression – ugh) and anxiety. I still live with those things today, and do as much as possible to combat the problems. When I have a down day and anxiety stops me from doing daily tasks, I just want to crawl into bed and switch off from the world. I’m sure others can relate.
But since the beginning of October, I have been trying to focus more on my own wellbeing, after struggling through a bit of a friendship crisis and one of my goals was to work out more.
I’ve never been happy with my weight but I am learning to accept my appearance more, thanks to blogging and now wanting to work out for me… not for others. I spent a lot of time trying to transform to please other people and lost motivation pretty quick. But now I have a new mindset, a goal to control anxiety and cute workout clothes, I’m ready to see some results.
First things first, I needed nice workout gear. I have a couple of leggings and tops in my collection, but there’s nothing like something brand new to get me motivated. Today’s post is in collaboration with UK Lingerie, who have an activewear line I got the opportunity to try out. UK Lingerie is linked to UK Tights, who I’ve done a post with before, and I’m very fond of the brand and its products.
When it comes to workout clothing, I like to keep it quite simple. I always think bright colours bring to much attention to me (which I don’t want), so I opted for darker colours to stay in my comfort zone. Although, there were some very colourful leggings that looked really pretty, I’m looking into those for another day. When I spotted the Ambra Active Excel Leggings, I realised they were just what I needed. There are a couple of things I look for in workout leggings:
They must be lightweight
They need to have a deep enough waistband (to keep the tummy tight)
They need to be able to release heat
My workouts are usually early in the morning, and I head outside for a run so I get hot pretty quick. I’m already feeling awkward and apprehensive being outside, and there is truly nothing worse than overheating and being sweaty while your leggings constantly feel like they’re falling down. From the moment I tried on these leggings, I was in love. I’m not exaggerating when I say they’re unlike any workout leggings I’ve ever worn before.
The fabric is mostly nylon and it’s so soft, plus the extra stretch means they fit tight and comfy and don’t slip against your skin. They’ve very light, lighter than everyday viscose leggings you’ll find in stores.
I also got the Lole Activewear Cardigan because I always work out in hoodies and wanted something that was super fancy for my new athletic expedition. Like the leggings, the zip-up cardigan is really lightweight and keeps all the wobbly bits in place when running. It comes with thumb holes which is something I never knew I needed but I like it!
When it comes to working out, especially outside, I need to be comfortable. If I’m uncomfortable, I’m self-conscious and that’s no good. Fortunately, my new workout uniform helps me to take a two-mile jog, three days a week with no extra worry.
So once I got the outfit out of the way, I started to notice a real difference in my overall mood after just a week of exercising. I start at 7am, and start with a fast-paced walk before starting a steady run. Two miles later, I’m back at home and feel completely different to setting off.
Waking up isn’t trouble-free, I’m not a morning person and my usual routine was to lounge around, looking at the lives of others on Instagram and starting off the day feeling miserable. Before I’m out of bed I’m thinking of things to do and giving myself a headache for no reason. Then, I feel tired for most of the day because I’m mentally exhausted before 9am.
It takes a big push to get out of the door, and it wasn’t easy at first. I had to force myself out of bed, and was always worried people were going to judge me for exercising… I don’t know why.
After a week passed, I noticed I wasn’t waking up with the feeling of dread, but actually motivated to get up and go. I didn’t have a tension headache from anxiety but stopped caring about the people I passed on a jog. As my fitness level improves, so does my mental health.
I struggle the most with social anxiety and a general feeling of unease at the most random of times. With my previous way of life, I just used to hide in my bedroom because it was the easiest thing to do, and there was no one to face.
Although I don’t bump into a crowd of people on these morning runs, I am outside, with cars and the occasion dog-walker passing by and a month or so ago, this would have terrified me. Now? I don’t really care. It just took consistent training and the motivation to get out there in the first place.
I had two things motivating me to workout.
- I was desperate to do something to improve my overall wellbeing. Not only my physical health, but my mental health. I knew I wanted to do something outside, because a couple of sit ups in my bedroom just wasn’t cutting it and anything in the fresh air makes me happy.
- I had a workout outfit that I was actually comfortable wearing, and could move in without feeling self-conscious, awkward or exposed.
The added bonus is that I’m seeing a difference in my body shape too. Just tiny things like dropping a pound or two and toning up but it’s a big influence. I started this journey of fitness because I could feel myself slipping into a miserable place, and knew I needed to start climbing out of it.
I knew there had to be something I could do, that wouldn’t drastically alter my life, to help with the anxiety issues that just seemed to be getting worse.
I wish it took a couple of morning runs, a journal entry and a fruit smoothie to cure anxiety but sadly it’s still there. However, three workouts a week has already made a difference in the past month alone. My mood isn’t as low so I get work done during the day (productivity is a YES), and I wake up with a purpose, rather than just going through the motions and avoiding humans.
Thank you the UK Lingerie for helping me on my mission!
How has working out helped you?